Expert: Future weather forecasts could improve WC drought conditions

The City of CT has warned dam levels, currently at around 42.5% in capacity, could drop to 20% before the winter rain arrives.

Wemmerhoek Dam. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape is in the middle of its worst drought in years, but one expert says future weather forecasts suggests the situation could be looking up.

The City of Cape Town has warned dam levels, currently at around 42.5% capacity, could drop to 20% before the winter rains arrive.

Kevin Winter, an environmental and geographical science academic, believes there's only enough water left for about 100 days.

However, he adds the situation could improve slightly in a few months.

“The long-term forecasts suggest we’re moving towards slightly above average rainfall. That is what the South African Weather Service is tentatively reporting on.”

LISTEN: Will the City of CT get tougher on water restrictions?

In a statement, the City says it’s working to implement more stringent level three water restrictions.

The City of Cape Town approved level three water restrictions, which came into effect on 1 November.

Portable pools and garden hoses have been prohibited under level three water restrictions, while the City has strongly advised residents to install water efficient infrastructure in a bid to save as much water as possible.

Water pressure is also set to be reduced in the water distribution system in a bid to limit underground leaks.

But officials say consumption throughout Cape Town has increased yet again, despite warnings last week.

Collective consumption for the week ending 15 January 2017 is up to 890 million litres per day.

This is up from 859 million litres per day the previous week, and is 90 million litres per day above targeted levels.

The municipality is also in the process of identifying properties with excessive water use. The City says it will target these customers for inspections and water usage enforcement.

Officials have called on residents to report water wastage via email, as the City continues with blitz operations to save water.

Residents have been encouraged to visit the City of Cape Town’s website for more information.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)